Advice and best practices for writing SOPs, training for product launch, outsourcing technical documentation, and more.

3 Ways Technical Content Can Make Your Company Money

In today’s world, users want instant access to information. If they can’t find that information after 20 seconds of searching online, they’re gone. You’ve lost them.

Content_NovatekContent is becoming more and more critical to a company’s success. Whether it’s using content to make your website easier to find in searches, creating the relevant content your users want to see and read after landing there, or delivering user-friendly and thorough instructions for using your product, content is critical to attracting, converting, and keeping customers.

Using content as a corporate asset was recently discussed at the Rochester Society for Technical Communication annual conference. Utilizing content as an asset may be new for many companies, so we’ve compiled a list of tips, based on Novatek’s experience, to increase revenue and profitability with your technical content.

Content Retains Your Biggest Source of Revenue: Existing Customers

Think about who in your organization has the most meaningful conversations with your customers. After a prospect becomes a customer, most companies assign an account manager or sales representative to manage that relationship. In practice, that looks like periodic phone calls and lunches to check in, verify satisfaction, and uncover new problems and needs.

However, it is the technical support and technical writing teams that have the most “face time” with your customers. More importantly, face time when the customers are using your product. Although customers may have future opportunities, those opportunities won’t convert to new revenue if the customer is unsatisfied with the current product.

Here’s how to use your technical content to retain these customers:

  • Put your technical manuals online so customers don’t have to waste time and become frustrated searching through their warehouse for the physical manual. This makes customers’ lives easier and enriches their experience with your company.
  • Use the information gained from customer inquiries to update technical documentation or web content so customers can find answers quickly online. This shows customers they matter and makes them feel like a valued partner.
  • Update technical documentation immediately after a hardware, software, or feature change, and distribute with the new product version—not after. This eliminates customer tension about having outdated information and keeps their loyalty.

Content Attracts New Customers

Most companies Novatek works with are opposed to making their technical content widely available for fear that competitors will get their hands on it. The truth is, they already have it! As an outsourced technical communications provider, we are often shown examples of competitors’ content when we meet with prospects to discuss their documentation and training needs.

You don’t have to give away 100% of your content, but provide useful content that will strategically help you attract new customers.

Here’s how to use your technical content to attract new customers:

  • Make sections of your user manuals accessible for viewing and reference. Marketing is losing influence because people don’t trust it anymore. More and more potential customers are verifying messaging by referencing the technical documentation.
  • Make your technical content available in your users’ preferred format. This will increase the likelihood they will open or download your information.
  • Post Frequently Asked Questions and “How to” guides on your website to show prospects you care about usability and to demonstrate the level of professional technical content they can expect from your company.

Improving Content Improves Your Bottom Line

Good data and content is relevant to the user and helps the user make intelligent decisions. Whether the data and content is used internally, externally by customers, or some combination of both, integrity, accessibility, flexibility, and usability of that information impact a company’s profitability. According to a 2009 study conducted by The Gartner Group, poor data quality costs the average company $8.2 million each year due to operational inefficiencies, lost sales, and unrealized opportunities.

To improve your data and content to improve your bottom line:

  • Ensure that your data and content are complete and that no information is missing or unusable.
  • Ensure that your data and content are consistent and do not provide conflicting information.
  • Ensure that your data and content are accurate and up to date.
  • Make your content easily accessible.
  • Publish content in users’ preferred format. 

For additional ways to measure the impact of your technical content…

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Topics: technical writing